A science-fiction and horror themed, graphical roguelike in which you play a space marine exploring a vast alien-infested space station.
As a 'Xenomarine' (part of a commando unit tasked with eliminating an alien infestation in a military research station) the player character explores a space station divided into multiple levels. Each level, including the aliens and items to be found, is procedurally generated. Maps include a variety of room types and sizes, each with procedurally generated layouts and contents.
Character development is central to gameplay and strategy, and is item-centric rather than skill-centric. A wide variety of weapons, armor and useable items (including variants with e.g. damage or to hit bonuses) can be found while exploring each level. The player character's icon is updated to reflect the weapons and armor equipped.
There are however a number of skills in the game that can be learned, when the player character has acquired enough experience from killing aliens. Experience can be converted into skills at 'terminals' which must first be located in the level. There are currently 14 basic skills, each with up to 5 skill levels: some allow additional abilities when specific skill level is reached.
The player will also acquire scrap metal and other raw materials, either by finding them directly, or converting unwanted weapons and armor into scrap. This scrap can be used at 'workbenches' to craft weapons, items and armor, and repair and improve armor.
Xenomarine features a wide variety of visually and behaviourally distinct enemy types. Each base enemy type comes in a number of variants (distinguished by colour and other visual effects), and each base type/variant exhibits unique behaviour (e.g. damage type, movement pattern). As at Alpha 4 the game contains over 120 base type/variant combinations.
Combat mechanics include status effects, area effects and multiple damage types, to which both the player character and aliens have different levels of resistance or vulnerability.
As of Demo v2.1.0 the game also features traps. The 'traps' skill is used to detect, disarm and (at higher skill levels) acquire and redeploy traps.
As with all roguelike games, Xenomarine features permadeath.
A relatively unusual feature of Xenomarine is the way it makes player direction central to gameplay. Changing direction costs a turn, and field of view is limited by the player's direction. Because of this enemy mobs are often first detected by a sound (represented by an acutal sound effect, or log message) rather than by being seen, which fits the sci-fi/horror theme.
Xenomarine has some features that are typical of coffee-break roguelikes. For example, there are no classes or character creation choices on starting a new game.
The following image indicates the current look and feel of the game:
Less common roguelike features:
- infinite levels
- atmospheric 3D lighting effects
- distinctive sci-fi items like scanners and directional forcefields
- 90 degree field of view (changing direction costs a turn)
- realistic sci-fi sound effects including procedurally generated atmosphere sounds
- intuitive interface to suit both mouse and keyboard play styles
Common roguelike features:
- randomly generated levels
- turn-based and grid-based
- skill system
- craft and upgrade weapons, items and armor
- hack’n’slash (and shoot!) over 150 alien species
Xenomarine has been in development since early 2015, and has been updated regularly since the first public release in January 2016:
- Version 1.3.0 of the Demo introduced a graphical overhaul including 3D lighting effects.
- Version 1.5.0 included a major graphical update of the user interface.
- Version 1.6.0 added animation, rebalancing and improved map generation.
- Version 2.0.0 was released on 23 September 2016 and features 5 new enemy types, large procedurally generated rooms and further improvements to user interface and controls.
- Version 2.1.0 was released on 21 December 2016 and introduced traps, coloured lighting, procedural atmosphere sounds and game stats.
- Version 2.2.0 was released on 23rd February 2017 and featured numerous minor UI improvements, bug fixes and game balance adjustments as well as a range of new usable items.
- Alpha 1 was released on 10 June 2017, featuring 15 levels with many new enemy, weapon and item types.
- Alpha 2 was released on 30 August 2017, featuring infinite levels, randomised missions and unlockable achievements.
- Alpha 3 was released on Steam Early Access and itch.io on 25 October 2017, featuring a new game mode, and new drone and item types.
- Alpha 4 was release on 8 December 2017, featuring 40 new enemy types, alien tunnels and a destructible environment.
- Alpha 5 was release on 6 March 2018, featuring turrets, new items and graphical improvements.
- Beta was released on 14 May 2018: the game now includes all planned content and features
- Full Version 1.0 was released on 24th April 2019
A full release history is available at the Devlog